Protecting Residual Trees and Site Productivity

Wood Energy April 28, 2011 Print Friendly and PDF

Protecting Residual Trees and Site Productivity

Damage to residual stems during thinning operations typically occurs during felling and skidding activities and can be minimized by:

  • Selecting an operator who has experience performing thinning treatments.
  • Conducting an on-site preharvest meeting with the buyer and operator.
  • Carefully planning transportation systems (i.e., forwarding rows and skid trails) to accommodate equipment as well as future harvest entries.
  • Reusing existing transportation systems where feasible.
  • Using care in felling and skidding of trees.
  • Limiting harvests of shallow-rooted species to frozen or dry conditions to minimize root damage.
  • Avoiding harvesting in the spring as the bark is more susceptible to sloughing off.
  • Identifying trail locations for skidders and/or forwarders which are as straight as possible to minimize rubbing of residual trees. The sharper the skidding or winching angle, the shorter the log should be.
  • Minimizing trafficking in areas where young regeneration is present.
  • Creating appropriate contract language which specifies residual stand protection requirements.
  • Closely monitoring the timber sale as it progresses.

Beyond minimizing damage to the residual stand, it is also important that harvest entries do not negatively impact the long-term productivity of the site. In particular, those entries should be done in a way that minimizes soil damage, such as compaction, rutting, or erosion. The following practices can be used to minimize soil damage during harvest entries, where appropriate:

  • Restricting equipment to designated transportation systems.
  • Harvesting sites during either dry or frozen ground conditions.
  • Spreading tops and limbs on skid trails to minimize impact of equipment.
  • Installing water bars or other erosion control devices along the transportation system in areas where erosion may occur.
  • Creating appropriate contract language which specifies residual stand protection requirements.
  • Closely monitoring the timber sale as it progresses.

Connect with us

  • Twitter
  • Facebook

Welcome

This is where you can find research-based information from America's land-grant universities enabled by eXtension.org

LOCATE

Resources

There are many factors that help determine the use woody biomass for energy production.  Below we consider the decision-making points involved in the process.  

How are We Doing?

Survey_icon1.jpg

Take A Short Survey Here and Help Us Out

 

 

USDA / NIFA

This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.